Marillion — Misplaced Childhood
(EMI 7243 497034 2 1, 1985/1998, CD)
by Mike McLatchey, Published 1999-11-01Marillion's opus Misplaced Childhood is about as perfect a specimen of the neo-progressive genre as you'll find. I am no adherent of this often-maligned and badly-defined brand of accessible symphonic rock, but back in the 80s before the advent of the CD medium, there were slim pickings, and this title, which spawned big hit Song "Kayleigh," did the job nicely. In retrospect, the album rings painfully nostalgic. After one relisten, I had the chorus to "Heart of Lothian" replaying in my head for two weeks, enough to prevent me from yet another repetition (well, at least it wasn't "Kayleigh"). Anyway, if you read Exposé, you know that describing this title would be akin to describing Nursery Cryme or Dark Side of the Moon. This reissue is a nicely remastered version of the album with a second disc including alternate versions, B sides, and an early demo version of the album. The latter, while quite interesting, is mostly redundant, and the B sides don't hold a candle to the gems produced around Script for a Jester's Tear, making the second disc dead weight to anyone but the ardent Marillion fan. Overall, this album is an ideal introduction to the Prog 101 student, but, regardless of its status as a neo-progressive classic, it's going to be old hat to most readers and dispensable to those with more experimental tastes, particularly due to the high lyric-to-instrumental ratio.
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